DES MOINES, IOWA (March 8, 2019) — Across our state, lots of snow and extreme cold have cancelled school time and again this winter.

School districts are getting creative to ensure they meet requirements when it comes to instructional time as the number of weather-related cancelations and delays continues to rise.

Part of the pressure districts are experiencing comes from standardized testing schedules. Adding days to the end of the school year is not a viable option for some school districts because students need their learning time before their yearly Advance Placement tests, which are usually scheduled in March or April.

We want to be sure students and schools succeed, regardless of the weather. Under a bill that recently passed the Senate Education Committee (SF 480), we’ll study how online technology and other potential solutions could be used to make up snow days.

It’s a step in the right direction, but there is so much more we could do by taking advantage of technology, professional expertise and local experience. That’s why I supported improving this legislation in two ways:

  1. Ensuring the study committee includes teachers, school administrators and parents from rural and urban schools.
  2. Considering policies that will protect parents from negative consequences at work when they must tend to their kids due to school cancelations and delays.

Unfortunately, those two provisions were defeated by a majority of the Education Committee. We will continue to work to improve the legislation.


Additional information

This is a legislative update by State Senator Jim Lykam, representing Davenport and Buffalo. For bio, photos and further information, go to

To contact Sen Lykam when the Legislature is in session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at 563-391-1919. E-mail him at

Sen Lykam serves on the following committees:

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